1. Will you still love this item in 10 years?
James Wheeler of J. Wheeler Designs says, “It’s important to ask yourself this question, because it can help to align money in your budget with the pieces that count.” While some pieces that are made to fit a specific space in your house might warrant less of an investment, it’s usually better to buy fewer, more versatile pieces of higher quality so they can move with you from house to house. Interior designer Ken Kehoe suggests assessing its trendiness. Ask yourself, Is it a timeless piece, and can I live with it for the long haul?
2. Can you use this for multiple purposes?
Whether a piece is multifunctional or can easily transition from one home to the next has a huge impact on decision-making, especially when deciding to save or splurge. “Naturally not all pieces will pass this test,” says Wheeler, “but where possible, try to find big pieces that can serve double-duty, as it will lengthen the life of the item and save you money in the long run.”
3. Is this piece proportional to the room?
It’s easy to fall in love with a piece that you desperately want to squeeze into your home at any cost, but Caitlin Murray of Black Lacquer Design says to “ensure that there is enough space between items to walk around.” Sound advice. She says that means leaving three feet (just under one metre) around every piece of furniture, especially in high-traffic areas (think living rooms and dining rooms). Also, make sure that the pieces feel proportional to each other. You don’t want your coffee table dwarfed by a too-large sofa.